Sabathia is recovering from a degenerative knee condition that has had him sidelined since his last start back against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 10; which was when the 33-year-old lefty finally told the team about the pain in his knee and then leading to his landing on the 15-day DL on May 11.
Sabathia had stem-cell treatment done to the knee, which requires a six-week rehab and recovery time in order for the treatment to fully work and during his time away, he sought out advice from New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire on how to go about the treatment from the knee condition, as he went through it several years ago.
Sabathia's rehab has gone according to plan, which has progressed from playing catch to throwing off a mound, all without any reported pain from the Yankees lefty. On Tuesday, Sabathia will take his next step in the rehab process, as he will throw 35 pitches against live hitters; it will be the first time Sabathia faces live hitters since that game against the Brewers on May 10.
After Tuesday, the Yankees plan for Sabathia is to repeat the plan and then after, as long as everything goes according to plan, the next step is for Sabathia to potentially start playing in minor league rehab games; potentially five before returning.
“My guess he will throw a couple of them and then we will see,’’ Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Sabathia, who Saturday said the plan was for him to pitch in a minor league game this coming Saturday barring any setbacks.
Before landing on the DL, Sabathia was 3-4 with a 5.26 ERA and many thought the knee injury was why his numbers looked the way they were, but a healthy and effective Sabathia could really help the Yankees in the second half towards a playoff run.
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